All charges were dropped against a Joliet man who was arrested in connection with a standoff with police last March in exchange for his guilty plea in a drug case, according to prosecutors.
On Sept. 16, prosecutors dismissed six charges that were leveled against Karl Cooks, 40, following his March 20 arrest in the 1300 block of Kinsey Avenue in Joliet.
Cooks was accused of battering his ex-girlfriend and her two teenage daughters while armed with a gun and then barricading himself at the Kinsey Avenue residence for almost three hours before he surrendered, Joliet police said.
Will County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Carole Cheney said an agreement had been reached in which Cooks pleaded guilty in a 2020 drug case for a prison term of two years and the charges in the other case were dismissed.
Cooks’ ex-girlfriend said she felt prosecutors “made the wrong choice,” called the dismissal of the charges “very ridiculous” and said she felt her “rights were violated as a victim.”
“He held them hostage and they just threw all those charges away?” she said.
She also claimed no one from the state’s attorney’s office notified of her that the charges would be dropped.
In response to the woman’s criticisms, Cheney said the “case is under review and discipline will be forthcoming,” but did not elaborate on who was to be disciplined or how.
Calls to Cooks’ attorney, Thomas Murphy, an assistant public defender, were not returned Friday.
In the drug case, Cooks pleaded guilty to felony unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Prosecutors said in a court filing that Cooks was stopped for a traffic violation on Aug. 5, 2020, and had heroin in his car that he admitted belonged to him.
Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak sentenced Cooks to serve at least 50% of a 2-year sentence and credited him with serving 183 days in the Will County jail, according to Cooks’ sentencing order.
Cooks’ ex-girlfriend said he broke into her house, punched her in the face and attacked her 13-year-old and 17-year-old daughters. She said she managed to escape from the home to call for help.
“I’m running in the middle of the road screaming, ‘Help me, help me,’” she said.
Joliet police said officers responded to the scene and determined Cooks battered the woman and her two children and that he was in possession of a firearm.
Cook answered the door for officers but “refused to exit the home and closed the door,” police said. The officers then determined the teens and a 2-year-old girl still were inside the house.
The police department’s SWAT team arrived, and crisis negotiators made “contact with Cooks by phone and he agreed to exit the home,” police said. He was arrested and taken to jail.
A grand jury returned an indictment on April 8 that accused Cooks of unlawfully possessing a weapon and battering his ex-girlfriend and two minors.
Cooks’ ex-girlfriend petitioned for a protective order against him that was granted on May 20 and then extended to June 30, 2023, records show.
Source: The Daily Chronicle